<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four men, arrested for allegedly raping a US tourist in a 5-star hotel earlier this year, were today sent to two-day judicial custody by a city court.Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh sent the accused to Tihar Jail after Delhi Police moved an application seeking their judicial custody. Yesterday, the police had arrested a tour guide, a driver, a cleaner and a hotel staff in connection with the alleged gangrape of the woman in April this year.The US national arrived here a few days ago to join the probe and recorded her statement in front of a judicial magistrate where she reiterated that she was gangraped by five persons in a five-star hotel here. Four accused were arrested after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to Delhi Police asking them why the Rape Crisis Cell of the women’s panel was not informed when the victim’s statement was recorded.Earlier, the complainant had said she was not “satisfied” with the probe and was ready to come to India to identify the accused. The woman had alleged that she was raped by the men for two days and also threatened with dire consequences if she reported the matter to anybody.She had also stated that the accused had made a video of the act and threatened to make it public if she reported the matter to anyone. She had also told the police that the accused had claimed to have sexually assaulted a couple of other female tourists as well. A team of psychologists and psychiatrists have been assisting the lady in recalling the details of the incident.The team is also working with the police in their investigation to tie up loose ends.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hit back at Narendra Modi for ridiculing his remarks about bringing an ‘earthquake” and said that the Prime Minister did not answer his questions, but mocked him.”Yesterday, I had asked PM Narendra Modiji 2-3 questions on corruption, but instead of answering, he made a joke of me. You can mock me, but answer the questions,” said Rahul Gandhi addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh.”Everyday our farmers are committing suicide, we went to the PM with these problems, but the PM did not say even one word. How many black money holders have been put in jail by Modiji? Not even one. He instead made Modi (lalit) and Mallya run away,” Rahul added.Meanwhile, Rahul also took to twitter and said, “Modiji first tell us what was contained in the ten packets from Sahara.”Earlier in the day, commenting on Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister said his speech held no relevance. “Since the time he has learnt how to speak, there is no extent to my happiness. Till 2009, there was no clue as to what is inside the packet (Gandhi). Better that he started speaking, at least we came to know that there is no scope of earthquake occurring,” said Modi.The Prime Minister, who was on his first tour of his Lok Sabha constituency after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetized on November 8, was speaking today at a function organised inside the Banaras Hindu University campus.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court said on Friday that it will not go into the correctness of the Centre’s policy on demonetization as the Supreme Court is already seized of the issue.A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice VK Rao also refused to issue any direction to the Centre to remove the cap on daily withdrawal of money deposited by the public in banks before demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. “We would not go into the correctness of the Centre’s policy on demonetization as the Supreme Court is already seized of the issue,” the bench said.The court said the people can always withdraw their money, so there is not point of issuing any direction.It said that the government decision to put a cap on weekly withdrawal of Rs 24,000 has come to an end on November 24 midnight, therefore it do not want to go into the merit of the case which has sought quashing of Clause 2 (VI) of the Centre’s notification. “Virtually by way of this writ petition you are challenging the notification on demonetization, we cannot go into it as the Supreme Court is already looking into it,” the bench said, adding that even otherwise “we find that the restriction was till November 24, and the same has expired”.The court’s order came on a plea by Ashok Sharma, who, through his counsel A Maitri, had urged for a relief on the ground that the Centre’s decision to put a cap on weekly withdrawal of Rs 24,000 is “affecting right to livelihood” of the people at large. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, however, said that the two high courts have already dismissed the pleas challenging the demonetization and the Supreme Court is seized of the issue.He further submitted that the cap on withdrawal was till yesterday midnight and now the government has come out with a new press release with certain amendments. Yesterday, the Centre had extended till December 15 the facility of using old Rs 500 notes in public utilities and included more services like mobile recharge but stopped the over-the-counter exchange of defunct currencies and use of Rs 1,000 notes.The petitioner, a resident of Delhi and a businessman, had urged the high court to quash clause 2 (VI) of the notification by which conditions were imposed on withdrawal of money from bank accounts. “A reading of the notification shows that Clause 2 (VI) was intended for cash deposits, which were to be tendered between November 9 and December 30. This clause as well as the notification has no connection with the bank deposits, which were made prior to November 8,” the plea had said.”On account of the notification, there is no normal banking transaction available, so the petitioner has been unable to carry out his business and Clause 2 (VI) of the notification has affected his right to livelihood,” Sharma’s lawyer had submitted.Under the earlier clause 2 (VI), the weekly withdrawal limit from the banks was Rs 20,000, while the daily limit was Rs 10,000. Later, the weekly limit was increased to Rs 24,000 and the daily limit was scrapped. From the ATMs, the daily limit is Rs 2,000.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday warned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that he risked being sued for defaming their leader Sharad Pawar.The NCP asked Kejriwal to refrain from making ‘irrational and baseless’ allegations such as calling Pawar a black market trader.”Kejriwal is not a rational person; his statements are not mature statements. He makes allegations without bothering about consequences that is why he faces prosecution. Also in this case he has no business to take the name of Sharad Pawar. We can sue him and he will find it difficult,” said NCP leader Majid Memon.”But we have no time to waste on this man because we know that he has been talking loose and unsubstantiated baseless and rash students. So he should correct himself before anybody teaches him a lesson,” he added.Kejriwal on Monday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking about ending corruption despite having close relations with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.”Yesterday, PM Modi took blessings of Sharad Pawar to fight against black money, no irony can be bigger than that,” said Kejriwal.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accompanied by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday travelled to Kobe, a city on Osaka Bay in Japan, on the famous superfast bullet train- the Shinkansen, whose speed ranges from 240 kms per hour to 320 kms per hour.“On the way to Kobe with PM @AbeShinzo. We are on board the Shinkansen bullet train,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted along with pictures of him in deep conversation with Abe.Both the leaders boarded the train along with their respective delegations from Tokyo and following their arrival in Kobe, they will visit the Kawasaki Heavy Industries facility, where high-speed trains are manufactured. Yesterday during the joint statement, Abe had said that Prime Minister Modi will see for himself that the Shinkansen train’s technology is the safest in the world.One of the most interesting features of the train is that for most of its journey, the magnetic levitation train does not make contact with the ground, but hovers 10 centimetres above as it’s propelled through the air with electrically-charged magnets on either side of the track. Just like a plane, its wheels go up when it gets up enough speed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The firebrand leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Subramanian Swamy on Friday said questioning the Supreme Court’s decision on the Satluj Yamuna Link issue is equivalent for failure of democracy.”Once the Supreme Court has ruled and I have taken the stand in the case of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Questioning the Supreme Court order means democracy in fail. The whole idea of court system is that both sides have strong case and ultimately somebody has to decide ,” he said.Swamy took a jibe at Congress Punjab state president Captain Amarinder Singh’s resignation moments after the verdict by the Supreme Court, terming him as a non serious politician.”His resignation is meaningless because he was supposed to represent state in the Centre and not in the Supreme Court. It shows lack of application of mind in part of Amarinder Singh. He is just not a serious politician,? he said.Swamy further advised Punjab government not to take extremist position on SYL issue, but should examine whether there is any scope within the law. to appeal against the verdict. Yesterday, the Supreme Court held the 2004 law passed by Punjab to terminate the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal water sharing agreement between neighbouring states as unconstitutional.Following which, Congress Punjab state president Captain Amarinder Singh decided to quit as a member of the 16th Lok Sabha from the Amritsar constituency in Punjab with immediate effect “as a mark of protest against the deprivation of the people of Punjab of the much-needed Sutlej river water.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said Pakistan is waging a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir but the neighbouring country will be given a befitting reply.”Pakistan has always been trying to occupy Jammu and Kashmir, and we consider this land (Jammu and Kashmir) and its people as our integral part. “After facing defeat in face-to-face battles, Pakistan is now engaging in a proxy war on this paradise on the earth. They also targetted others parts of the country. Our soldiers are fighting this battle professionally,” Parikkar, who was on a two-day visit to Kashmir, said at a function here.The Defence Minister, accompanied by Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, was here to pay homage to Major Somnath Sharma, the first Param Vir Chakra awardee of independent India and other soldiers who laid down their lives while pushing back an offensive by Pakistani raiders to control Srinagar Airport in 1947. “On this occasion, let us renew the pledge to give fitting reply to the proxy war and end terrorism here,” Parikkar said addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen.The Defence Minister said Pakistan was trying to mislead its own people and the people of Kashmir. “There is a popularly elected government here which is for the benefit of the Kashmiri people and take them on the path of development”. He said misguided youth are today hitting at Kashmiriyat and destorying the future of Kashmiri children by burning down schools. “The schools are important as the knowledge gained there will stay with the children forever. Wealth can end but not knowledge,” he said.Parikkar said he has told the army officers to look into the issue, but the pressure should also come from the villages for saving the schools. “For the last four months, many anti-social elements sponsored by Pakistan–who have nothing to do with the peace-loving people of Kashmir–have dealt a blow to the economy of Kashmir,” he said.Parrikar said the state had tremendous economic potential, especially in Information Technology and tourism sectors “Yesterday, I went to Uri and I saw the tin-roofs over the houses. This state has the economic potential that these tin-roofs can be gold-plated if not made of gold. For that we need peace. There is huge potential in IT and tourism. “The natural beauty of Kashmir is unparalleled, though as a Goan, I will always say Goa is a little more beautiful,” he added. He appealed to people of Jammu and Kashmir to give up the path of violence and contribute in nation building process.Paying tributes to Major Somnath and other soldiers, Parrikar said it is a matter of pride that he has been able to come to Budgam. “Here our brave soldiers fought valiantly and made the supreme sacrifice. I am excited to see such a large number of ex-servicemen from the valley here who have fought shoulder-to -shoulder with their countrymen for upholding the unity and integrity of the country.”Today we are paying homage to Major Somnath Sharma, the first Param Vir Chakra awardee, and other soldiers who attained martyrdom in 1947. I pay tributes on behalf of entire nation to the martyrs. It is because of the sacrifices of these martyrs and others after them that we are able to hold our heads high with pride and live in this paradise on earth,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three women brick-klin workers were allegedly gang raped by some robbers who looted their houses in Karoli village here, police said on Wednesday.The robbers struck at the houses at around 12.30 AM in the intervening night of yesterday and today and after looting the houses they raped the three women, they said.An FIR has been registered in the matter, Greater Noida Superintendent of Police Sujata Singh said, adding medical examination of the victims have been conducted.An investigation is underway in the matter, she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army foiled an infiltration bid of heavily armed terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector of Jammu on Friday, a day after the BSF thwarted a similar such attempt via the International Border (IB) in Kathua district. “An infiltration bid was foiled by the alert and vigilant troops of Army in the densely forest area along LoC in the Poonch sector this morning”, a defence spokesman said.He said that on noticing some suspicious activity, the alert troops challenged a group of 2-3 infiltrators who were attempting to cross the LoC. “On being challenged, the group immediately opened fire (on the Army) which was responded in equal measure by the alert troops forcing the group to flee back”, the spokesman said. Yesterday, with Pakistani troops suspectedly providing cover fire, 4-6 heavily-armed militants tried to sneak into India through the International Border in Kathua district of Jammu but the attempt was foiled by alert BSF which claimed to have injured or killed at least one of them.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four persons were injured after members of two communities clashed at Dhori village in Dhrangadhra taluka of Surendranagar district, following which four policemen were suspended for “dereliction of duty”, police said on Sunday. The confrontation between the members of Patidar and Koli communities occurred on Saturday night and the police had to lob three teargas shells to control the crowd.”Members of Patidar and Koli communities clashed last night after tempers ran high over a land issue,” Surendranagar District Superintendent of Police Deepak Meghani said.”Yesterday morning, a Patel youth was beaten up by the members of the Koli community over the issue, after which tension between the two communities escalated. Around 9 pm, both the sides indulged in stone-pelting with some members even firing two rounds in the air,” he added.The incident left at least four persons injured, Meghani said, adding that the police lobbed three teargas shells to bring the situation under control. Four policemen were found guilty of dereliction of duty and were suspended in this connection, he said.The suspended policemen were sub-inspector DV Basiya, assistant sub-inspector DM Jadhav, constables Rasikbhai Panara and Rohit Thakor. “The in-charge of the outpost should have visited the spot in the morning after the Patel youth was beaten up and should have informed the senior officials about it so that proper police deployment could be made to prevent the clash. They were suspended for negligence and dereliction of duty,” Meghani said.Cross FIRs have been filed against 36 persons in this regard for attempt to murder, rioting, unlawful assembly, causing hurt using dangerous weapons and under relevant sections of the Arms Act, police said. Further investigation into the case was on although, no arrest had been made yet, they added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President of India Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday wrote to Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, condoling the loss of lives in a stampede in Varanasi yesterday.”I am sad to learn about the stampede in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in which a number of persons have lost their lives and others are injured. I understand relief and rescue operations are currently underway,” the President said in his message. He further called upon the state government and other authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured.”Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons,” he added. Yesterday, a trip to visit Jai Baba Gurudev’s campaign in Varanasi turned into a stampede as crowd management failed on the Rajghat bridge over river Ganga. At least 24 people are known to have been killed due to the accident, out of which 15 were females. 4 other remain critically injured. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has announced Rs. 2 lakh each next to kin of the victims of the stampede and Rs 50,000 each to critically injured. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also offered his condolences to the victims and announced a financial aid of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those died in the stampede and Rs 50,000 to those injured.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After initial reluctance, the Army briefed members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence on the surgical strikes on Friday carried out by its men on terror launch pads inside Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. At least three members who attended the meeting said Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat briefed the Committee on the September 29 surgical strikes. “A brief statement was made by the Army on the sensitive issue. But no questions were taken,” a member said. But another member from NDA said Congress’ Madhusudan Mistry wanted to ask questions which was denied by panel chief Maj Gen B C Khanduri (Retd). “There was a heated exchange of words between the two … no questions were finally taken,” he said. Earlier, the standing committee was to get “Briefing by the representatives of the Ministry of Defence on surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC)”. But later, the agenda was changed to hearing by officials of the Defence Ministry, the Law Ministry and the Election Commission “on the status of implementation of E Postal Ballot System”. Yesterday, two senior Congress members Ambika Sonia and Mistry had dubbed the move to change the agenda as “highly unacceptable”. “The decision not to brief the committee over surgical strikes under the garb of secrecy only amounts to ‘lack of confidence’ in the Members of Parliament, who are in the committee and who are bound by the oath of secrecy. This position is absolutely unacceptable to us,” party General Secretaries Soni and Mistry had said in a joint statement yesterday.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It seems like India’s global isolation plan is going rather well. On Friday, Russia tore into Pakistan in an official statement saying: “We are concerned with the aggravation lately of the situation along the line of control between India and Pakistan. We are calling on the parties not to allow any escalation of tension and to settle the existing problems by political and diplomatic means through negotiations. We stand for decisive struggle against terrorism in all its manifestations. We expect the government of Pakistan to take effective steps in order to stop the activities of terrorists’ groups in the territory of the country.”Now, USA joined the chorus saying nuclear states should show more restraint. With Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton asserting that Islamabad is running at full speed to develop tactical nukes in their continuing hostility with India, the United States has called on Pakistan to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities. Addressing the media, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said in a clear message to Pakistan that nuclear-capable states have a very clear responsibility to exercise restraint regarding nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.Pak defence minister Asif said: “actical weapons joh hain, joh hamne yeh progammes develop kiya hua hai, yeh apne hifazat ke liye develop kiya hua hai. Hamne devices jo hain just as showpieces toh nahin rakhe hue. Lekin agar hamare salamati ko khatra hua, toh hum nestanabhut kar denge unko (Tactical weapons, our programmes that we have developed, they have been developed for our protection. We haven’t kept the devices that we have just as showpieces. But if our safety is threatened, we will annihilate them (India).”Talking about the continued surge in tensions between India, Pakistan especially after the recent surgical strike by the Indian Army in Pakistan occupied Kashmir on terror launch pads, Toner stated that the U.S. is following the situation on the ground very closely and urges calm and restraint by both sides. We understand that the Pakistani and Indian militaries have been in communication and we believe that continued communication between them is important to reduce tensions. I think we certainly dont want to see any kind of escalation and certainly any kind of break in that communication, he said.Re-iterating that the U.S. condemns the deadly Uri attack, he added that the Barack Obama-led government has repeatedly and consistently expressed its concerns regarding the danger that cross-border terrorism poses for the region.And we continue to urge actions to combat and de-escalate and delegitimize, rather, terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba, rather Haqqani Network, as well as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Toner said.Asserting that U.S. does not want to see tensions between India and Pakistan escalate any further, the spokesperson stated that the Secretary of State John Kerry is engaged and talking to senior Indian leadership consistently regarding the matter. India has said Pakistan approaching the UN over the issue of surgical strikes in PoK has not found any resonance in the world body and rejected claims that the UN mission monitoring ceasefire “has not directly observed” any firing along the LoC.India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin dismissed remarks made by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) “has not directly observed any firing across the LoC related to the latest incidents”, a reference to the surgical strikes conducted by India on September 29 targeting terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Akbaruddin told reporters at the Indian Permanent Mission here yesterday that the facts on the ground do not change whether somebody has “observed” it or not.”I have nothing to say because what (Dujarric) said was ‘directly observed’. It’s a call that they have to take. I cannot place myself in their boots and directly observe something,” the Indian envoy said when asked to comment on Dujarric’s remarks.Akbaruddin said the “facts on the ground do not change whether somebody acknowledges or not. Facts are facts, we presented the facts and that’s where we stand.” India on Thursday carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.When pressed at the daily press briefing to explain how UNMOGIP can say it did not observe any firing even as India said it has conducted the surgical strikes, Dujarric repeated that UNMOGIP has not “directly observed” any of the firing.”They are obviously aware of the reports of these presumed violations and are talking to the relevant concerned authorities,” he had said.Akbaruddin said while Pakistan has reached out to the UN Chief and the 15-nation Council over the issues of the surgical strike and Kashmir, it’s call for intervention by the world body has not found any resonance as there was no further discussion on the matter.”Yesterday there was some action. You are also aware of the reaction,” Akbaruddin said referring to Pakistan’s envoy Maleeha Lodhi meeting New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, president of the Council for the month of September, and raising in the UNSC the issue of the action by India.”Yesterday the Pakistan ambassador did approach New Zealand. What they didn’t tell you after that was what happened. Did anyone raise anything after what was explained to in the UN Security Council. The answer that I know of is that there was no further discussion of this (surgical strike and Kashmir matter),” Akbaruddin said. He said Pakistan had raised the issues through the New Zealand ambassador in “informal consultations” of the Council.”Was there a resonance. I didn’t hear that, nor did anybody else in those informal consultations. We are a responsible state. It is not our intention to aggravate the situation.”However as a responsible state we will not tolerate any impunity. We will not be indifferent to territory being used to kill innocent citizens of our country,” Akbaruddin said adding that India hopes and expects “support from Pakistan also in that endeavor”.”Ultimately they are committed to a bilateral understanding on this.” The Indian envoy also added that Pakistan had raised the Kashmir issue in the General Assembly but asked how many nations “supported” it.”By my count there were none,” he said adding that there is “no resonance” among UN member states for Pakistan’s claims on Kashmir.”At the high-level General Debate, there was a specific and long Pakistani submission (on Kashmir). I did not hear any resonance of that among any of the member states who took the floor. Ultimately 193 of them took the floor. There was no resonance. If you find anything contrary I’m willing to listen,” Akbaruddin said.Akbaruddin stressed that as a responsible state, India will not be “indifferent to impunity” as an option.”Our approach is that the response (surgical strike) we undertook yesterday…was a measured, proportionate, counter-terrorist strike. It was reflective of our desire to stop a clear and imminent threat. Our objectives have been met and that effort has since ended,” he said.He reiterated that India’s effort as a “responsible state” is to respond proportionately and in a measured manner and achieve its objectives.”In that case, we consider our objectives fulfilled. What spin somebody puts, whether somebody has seen it or not seen it, is not a germane to the issue. That it was undertaken, that we feel that it achieved our objective is important for us as a country,” he said.On whether India has been approached by the office of the Secretary General or the Security Council regarding de-escalation of the situation, Akbaruddin said, “I did not hear any response to the submission (by Pakistan) yesterday.” He said as a normal diplomatic practice, if there are any requests to him or other Indian diplomats on any matter, “it is our job as diplomats to respond to them.” “In the UN we have a very expansive agenda. We have an agenda that deals with peace and security and also climate change, sustainable development goals. It also deals with having a culture of peace integrating and working together with others.”We are focused on that expansive and extensive agenda. We are not a one agenda state,” he said.The surgical strike by India came just days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on the Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir that killed 18 jawans.With inputs from agencies
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Naxals killed in a gunbattle with security forces on Tuesday in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. “The encounter took place early this morning in the dense forest of Fulbadgi Police Station area while a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation,” Sukma Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela said. Composite squad of District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and local police had launched the operation in the interiors of Fulbagdi, located around 450 kms away from here, based on specific inputs, he said. About 8 kms away from the police station, an exchange of fire broke out between both the sides after ultras opened fire on security forces, the SP said, adding, rebels soon managed to flee the spot taking the cover of dense forest. “During search of the area, bodies of two male Maoists, beside a muzzle loading gun and one 315 bore gun were recovered from the spot,” he added.The identity of the ultras will be ascertained once the patrol party will return to its camp, the SP said. Yesterday, three Naxals, including two hardcore commander rank cadres, were gunned down by security forces at separate places in Bastar division. With today’s encounter, the number of Maoists having been killed in separate encounters in Bastar this year has reached to 99.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four columns of the Army have been deployed in rain-affected areas of Hyderabad and neighbouring Ranga Reddy district after heavy downpour wreaked havoc in the capital and other parts of Telangana cutting off low-lying areas.Army troops have been moved into Begumpet, Nizampet and Hakimpet areas in the city and Alwal in Ranga Reddy district to provide necessary relief, according to a Defence release.The Army has also set up a control room at GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) office and, in coordination with the GHMC and NDRF officials, is closely monitoring the situation round-the-clock, it said. “Army columns are already on track to provide relief material and medical aid in slum areas of Alwal. Other columns of the Army have been kept on standby, to be deployed when required,” the release added. The Army officials had met GHMC Commissioner Janardhan Reddy during the wee hours today and apprised the administration that their forces are prepared to swing into action as and when called for. Also, following instructions from Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, a 60-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been kept on the standby in the city.Besides, the CM has ordered officials to set up control rooms in all the districts across the state to reach out to marooned people with necessary relief, said an official statement. Some of the low lying areas in Hyderabad are still cut off from the rest of the city, even as GHMC and some NGOs are offering essential food items such as milk for relief of those affected. The CM also instructed the officials to take necessary steps to prevent spread of communicable diseases.Also, the district administration of Rangareddy, Khammam, Warangal and Medak besides GHMC have declared holiday for educational institutions today in view of heavy rains. Yesterday, the Telangana government had said that it has kept two choppers ready to move people from low lying areas in the city, if necessary.Four persons were killed and six others injured in separate rain-related incidents in Medak district yesterday.
With Delhiites in agony as power cuts are on the rise with the soaring mercury, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday assured his government was personally attending to every complaint they received, adding that a policy will also be enforced where compensation will be provided to people suffering from power cuts for more than two hours.”In Delhi, there have been many power cuts lately and for the past two days I have been observing the situation. In the BSES areas the power cuts are more than usual and in TATA area, there are few power cuts in comparison. Yesterday, the power ministers took cognizance of the matter and we are personally observing all the complaints that are coming through,” Kejriwal told the media here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that he has called a meeting regarding the matter on Monday, he added that he has given policy direction to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), that when there is an ‘unscheduled’ power cut, then it has to be fixed within two hours and if it is not done so, then the people in that area will be compensated.”We had a meeting with the DRC and this policy will be applied soon.15 years ago we brought privatisation in Delhi so that the electricity conditions in the state improve and not so that the power rates increase. Under our government this is the first time that we have not let the rates rise,” Kejriwal said.
A city in India’s Rajasthan state breaks the country’s temperature records after registering 51C, the highest since records began, the weather office says.
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday cornered the Janata Dal (United) Government in Bihar over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and said the condition is not going to improve until Nitish Kumar remains chief minister. “Not even a single person will be punished in the road rage incident of Gaya. Yesterday, I gave a full report to President Pranab Mukherjee. We have been demanding for President’s rule in the state for last three months. We have also been demanding a CBI probe in all these incidents,” Paswan said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A delegation led by Chirag Paswan met the Bihar Governor. Till the time this JD (U) Government stays in Bihar and Nitish Kumar stays as chief minister, law and order situation is not going to improve. The entire law and order has deteriorated. This is a government of rapes and murders,” he added. The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief said his party, therefore, demands for central rule in Bihar. The killing of two journalists in the last 24 hours, one in Bihar and the other in neighbouring Jharkhand, has led to another round of war of words between the BJP and the JD (U) in Bihar. Senior reporter of a Hindi-daily ‘Hindustan’, Rajdeo Ranjan, was killed in Bihar’s Siwan district on Friday evening by unknown assailants near the railway station. The journalist was shot from close range in the head and the neck. In Jharkhand, a journalist was shot dead by unidentified people at Dewaria in Chatra district. A police official said, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, 35 who worked for a news channel, was gunned down near panchayat secretariat of the village on Thursday night. The killing comes days after a road rage case, in which suspended JD (U) MLC Manorama Devi’s son Rocky shot dead a class XII student, Aditya Sachdeva, in Gaya for overtaking his SUV.
A woman police sub-inspector (PSI) in Kutch district of Gujarat on Saturday claimed that a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) forced her to level allegations of sexual harassment against Kutch (East) SP. Yesterday, a letter of the PSI, where she had made allegations of sexual harassment and torture against the SP had surfaced. “I was forced by a DSP to write a letter against Kutch (East) SP G V Barot,” she told reporters at Gandhidham in Kutch district. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The DSP asked me to do so to put mental pressure on the SP who is monitoring a cheating complaint filed at A-Division police station in Gandhidham against the DSP’s son,” she claimed. “The DSP had forced me to write a complaint letter against the SP even when I told him that I did not want to do so. He wanted to clear the name of his son against whom a case is lodged on the charge of forging papers to sell a doctor’s property,” she further claimed. “The DSP had blackmailed me to write the letter because of a mistake committed by me during the investigation of domestic violence case after which he had threatened to suspend me”, the PSI added. “During investigation in the domestic violence case, I had said there was no criminal case after which the DSP threatened to suspend me as the man against whom the case was filed later killed his wife. In order to save my job, I decided to write the letter as per the DSP’s instruction,” she claimed. The DSP could not be reached for comment despite several attempts. In the letter addressed to the Director General of Police and Gujarat Chief Minister Anadiben Patel, the PSI had made allegations of sexual harassment and torture against SP G V Barot. The complainant has threatened to commit suicide if no action was taken against the SP who she claimed forced her into sexual relationship with him and later, forced her to abort her child with the help of another PSI. When contacted, SP Barot termed the allegations as “highly irresponsible and senseless”. “When asked during investigation, she accepted it was her mistake,” he said. On asked if action will be taken against the PSI, the SP said action will be taken as per instructions from the Gujarat home department.
The Delhi University on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BA degree, as circulated by the Bharatiya Janata Party, is authentic. In a clarification made by Delhi University’s registrar Tarun Das, it was also said that the degree has all the relevant records relating to Prime Minister Modi’s graduation while terming as ‘minor error’ mention of 1979 in his degree when he passed out a year earlier. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This led AAP’s official handle to write on Twitter: ” The educational qualifications of the PM is not the issue, but lying on election affidavits repeatedly certainly is. If the PM’s degrees are indeed genuine, why did DU need to reject so many RTI applications seeking the info?Wasn’t it Delhi University’s duty to comply with CIC’s order & divulge PM’s education related details? Why wasn’t the PM’s degree released as an answer to the RTI as was asked by CIC instead of in a press conference by BJP? Why were the records in DU sealed & access to them being denied after the press conference if there is nothing to hide?Instead of sealing the records off, shouldn’t they be cross-referenced & scrutinized so the matter can be put to rest? The scrutiny of the documents become especially important since many discrepancies have been found in them. We request the PM to offer his degree/documents up for scrutiny & put a stop to this controversy once & for all.” The clarification came amid the raging controversy over the Prime Minister’s educational qualifications with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continuing to question genuineness of the BA degree. The registrar clarified that Narendra Modi cleared the examination in 1978 and was awarded the degree in 1979, hours after an AAP delegation went to the university seeking details of the degree. Asked about certain discrepancies being alleged by the AAP in his mark sheets and degree certificate, he said, the discrepancies in names in two mark sheets exist in university records as well. Yesterday, BJP president Amit Shah and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had released copies of Prime Minister Modi’s BA and MA degrees in response to AAP’s allegations.
A day after Gujarat government announced 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward among upper castes, jailed Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said he will study the decision before reaching a compromise to end the impasse over quota.Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders Live Cricket Score, 26th T20, Indian Premier League 2016, April 30, 2016However, community leaders involved in talks with the government are pushing for an end to the Patel stir, saying the community’s two main demands have been fulfilled. “I will first study the decision taken by the government and surely go for compromise (with the government over quota impasse) if it is in favour of the community,” he told reporters outside a Court in Visnagar, Mehsana district, around 90 km from here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 22-year-old, who is in judicial custody and facing a slew of charges, including sedition, was brought to the Court in connection with a case lodged against him in the neighbouring district. “I will take the matter of 10 per cent reservation to the (Patel) community after studying it properly. Solution to the issue is required for peace … and it is important for both the sides they compromise on the issue,” he said.
ALSO READ Quota row: Gujarat announces 10% reservation for EBCs to placate agitating PatelsThis was Hardik’s first reaction to the reservation for EBCs (economically backward classes) announced by the BJP government for the poor among upper castes (up to annual family income of Rs 6 lakh), which also include Patidars, in jobs and education. Yesterday, spokespersons of the Hardik-floated Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) had rejected the move as another “lollipop” extended by the BJP and the state government to “mislead” their community.PAAS has been leading the stir for inclusion of Patidars, a dominant agrarian community, as OBCs. Meanwhile, leaders mediating between agitating Patels and government today met Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. Later, they said the agitation should come to an end now as two main demands of the community, reservation and releasing youths jailed in sedition case, have been fulfilled.
ALSO READ EBC quota in Gujarat: Lawyers say it may survive if SC reviews ’92 rulingMahesh Savani, a member of the Committee mediating between the two sides, said the government was moving in the right direction. After releasing five of the six Patidar youths (who were behind bars and got bail from Courts), it has announced 10 per cent EBC reservation. “I believe the 10 per cent reservation is a big step.Now, we are waiting for details on the EBC reservation. Once we get them, we will reach out to members of the community and explain them what this is all about,” Savani told reporters after meeting the Chief Minister. Savani said “two of our demands — that leaders jailed under sedition charges be released and government provide reservation to Patel youths — have received positive response from the government.””About Hardik’s release, the CM asked us to keep faith in the legal system. So we feel government’s positive attitude towards Hardik’s release and 10 per cent reservation show that the agitation is now nearing its end,” he said. Hardik is behind bars in the two sedition cases. Yesterday’s decision was taken at a meeting of Gujarat BJP’s core group, where party’s National President Amit Shah was also present.
Lucknow: A day after he was denied permission to hold public meetings in Azamgarh, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said on Sunday that the ruling Samajwadi party was “insecure” of him.
“Yesterday did a roadshow in 4 districts UP very good public response esp from youth for 12 hours peaceful but stopped Azamgarh SP is insecur (sic),” he wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter this morning.
“Samajwadi party is stopping from holding public meetings, enter Azamgarh remember @yadavakhilesh power is not ETERNAL I will be coming more (sic),” he tweeted.
On Saturday, AIMIM chief was denied permission by authorities to hold public meetings in Azamgarh in the wake of tension in Mubarakpur area there.
Application to hold public meeting was received from Owaisi’s party but he was denied permission, Azamgarh District Magistrate Suhash L Y had said.
Addressing his partymen at a meeting, Owaisi had exhorted them to prepare for the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
“Start preparations for the elections so that our people could have representation in the Vidhan Sabha,” he had told party workers in Siddarthnagar.
“We are neither against any religion nor against any person,” Owaisi, who was on a UP tour, said.
Life in Jammu region was thrown out of gear on Thursday following a ‘bandh’ being observed to protest over alleged police high-handedness on outstation students at NIT in Srinagar.The region faced a shut down called by various groups, including Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) to protest against the cane-charge on outstation students by the police on April 5.The Jammu Province People’s Forum (JPPF), Sri Ram Sene and various student organisations had extended their support to one-day Jammu bandh call. The Bar Association of Jammu (BAJ) also decided to suspend work in all the courts across the region. “Yesterday we held a meeting and decided to suspend work in all the courts across Jammu region. Though we are yet to extend our support for the strike but the BAJ has suspended work in all courts across the region to protest against police brutality on the students,” BAJ president Abhinav Sharma said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The lawyers also held a protest outside the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, demanding action against the police officials for allegedly manhandling the outstation students of the institute. Several student organisations took to the streets and blocked the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway at Bikram Chowk. A heavy contingent of police was deployed at several places across the region to maintain law and order.While schools and other educational institutions remained closed, the attendance at government and private offices remained thin.
As many as ten people died on Thursday following the collapse of an under-construction bridge in Girish Park area of North Kolkata. The eye-witnesses claimed that nearly 150 people are stuck under the collapsed bridge.Rescue operation is currently underway to recover the people stuck under the debris. “We heard a noise and got scared. Yesterday it was welded.The bridge collapsed. I think at least 150 people are under the debris,” an eye-witness Ramesh Kejriwal told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It was a powerful collapse sent shivers down my spine,” another eye-witness added. The army, police and the ambulance reached the accident spot to evacuate the victims. The police were making desperate attempts to lift up the fallen bridge.BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya tried to give the incident a political turn. “It is a grave example of how corrupt Mamata govt is. People will never forgive Mamata Banerjee and her govt for this.”Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Congress Vice PResident Rahul Gandhi expressed condolences to the victims of the accident:
A major fire broke out at the Deonar dumping yard on Saturday night and has blanketed the entire area with thick smog. On Sunday morning, residents said the fire department is yet to extinguish the fire at the dumping yard. By Sunday afternoon, 7 fire engine, 3 water tankers, 7 Dozers, 9 Poklanes, 2 JCBs and 3 BMC tankers were reported to be on the site. According to the BMC’s fire department, they received a call at 10.42 pm on Saturday night. Fire department officials, said, “As soon as we got the call, three fire engines and four water tanks were rushed on the spot. The fire is not yet extinguished. Our officials are yet working on the site.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the residents, they were witnessing smog in the area throughout the day on Saturday before the huge fire broke out at night around 10.30 pm. Vandana Trivedi, resident, said, “The entire area is covered with smoke today. We can smell the smoke in our house. Yesterday also the area was covered with smoke and we informed the officials well in advance about the situation.”
ALSO READ Sachin Tendulkar bats for Deonar dumping ground residents, writes to BMCWhile another resident, Kala Suresh, who can see the dumpyard after from her building, said, “There has been small fire since two days. Every day as alert citizens, we call up the BMC disaster management cell and fire department officials. They need to do extensive investigation to find out the reason behind the fires happening every day. Yesterday, the number of water tankers that came on the spot were not enough to extinguish the fire. The local body failed to manage the segregation of the waste properly because of which the fire incidents take place daily. We are in constant contact with the officials. According to them, yesterday it caught fire from the bottom of the dump, because of which they are not yet able to douse the fire. We are not even able to breathe properly.”According to residents, the fire officials have assured them that the situation will be under control by Sunday evening. “A group of people have been calling up the control room to get an update of the incident since Saturday night. They have also been sending pictures on the Whatsapp group of the fire department,” said another resident Smeeta Dighe.Earlier in January, a major fire at the dumping ground had led the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to shutdown 74 schools run by it for two-days as smoke from the site caused breathing trouble to the residents. Parts of Mumbai were engulfed in a thick blanket of smog due to the fire. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had ordered a probe into the fire and smog by a panel headed by a senior IPS officer. In subsequent weeks, several small fires have been reported from the garbage disposal site.
The students and teachers agitating at JNU against the sedition charges imposed on six students of the varsity, today took out a torch light march from Ganga Dhaba to Chandrabhaga hostel demanding that the ongoing “witch-hunt” should stop.Holding “mashaals” in their hands, the students shouted “JNU long-live” and “Save JNU” slogans as they carried out the solidarity march. “We had carried out a similar march when our president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested. Yesterday two of our comrades surrendered before police so we are taking out a similar march praying for justice for them. The way students are being targeted and witch-hunted needs to stop,” JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora told reporters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Candle light marches and protest rallies which are common sight at JNU have intensified ever since Kanhaiya was arrested in a sedition case in connection with an event on campus against hanging of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.Sucheta De, National President, All India Students Association said, “we do not believe in any sort of confrontation with any other group or indulging in any violence. We are carrying out peaceful protests and marches and we want student unity will long live and so will JNU”.Ever since the controversy broke out, the teachers have been taking open-air “nationalism” lectures at varsity’s administration block, however, no session took place today as the students gathered for the solidarity march which began around 9.30 PM.Expressing happiness over the statements being received by the students union from varsities across the globe, Shehla said, “we have not been targeted for the so called anti-national tag but because we have stood by students of all varsities whenever need be. We kick-started the Occupy UGC movement, we demanded justice for Rohith Vemula and we are overwhelmed in the manner the varsities across the country have reciprocated the support”.The five students, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, JNUSU General Secretary Rama Naga, Ashutosh Kumar and Anant Prakash had gone missing from the campus since February 12 after Kanhaiya was arrested on sedition charge for allegedly raising anti-India slogans in a controversial event at the campus.While Khalid and Anirban surrendered late last night, the remaining trio have refused to surrender maintaining that they are ready to cooperate with police as and when approached.
The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has apprehended another 48 Indian fishermen and seized their nine boats from Arabian Sea off Jakhau port of Gujarat, hours after it held 40 fishermen from India from the same spot, National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) said on Saturday.With this, the total number of Indian fishermen apprehended by PMSA in the last 48 hours has gone up to 88.While the NFF had on Friday confirmed that PMSA had held 40 Indian fishermen late Thursday night, today it said that the Pakistani agency apprehended another 48 hours later.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The PMSA has apprehended 88 Indian fishermen and 16 of our boats. Yesterday, we had got to know that it had caught 40 Indian fishermen and seven boats and today we are able to confirm that another 48 fishermen and nine of their boats have been captured,” NFF secretary Manish Lodhari told PTI.Preliminary reports have revealed that all of them were caught near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and have been taken to Karachi Port by the Pakistani agency, Lodhari said. Since there are no physical markings in the sea, fishermen are dependent on the GPS system installed on their boats to find out their exact location in the sea and proximity with IMBL.”However, GPS is not fitted in all the boats. Moreover, only the latest GPS devices show the IMBL on the GPS screen, while older GPS devices do not have that facility. As a result, it becomes difficult for fishermen to determine their exact location,” he added.Lodhari said that they have informed the state authorities as well as the Coast Guard about action taken by the Pakistani agency.
The Home Ministry today said that action will be taken against those who indulged in violence in Patiala House court here.”If anyone violates law, action will be taken. I will definitely speak to Delhi Police Commissioner (B S Bassi),” Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters here. Mehrishi’s comments came hours after a group of lawyers assaulted journalists and JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar when he was being produced at the Patiala House court. Asked about earlier attack on mediapersons on Monday, Mehrishi said investigation has been going on into the FIR and counter FIR registered in that connection.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Action will be taken as per law,” he said. On Monday, journalists, students and teachers of JNU were attacked by people wearing lawyers’ black robes in Patiala House court. Yesterday, hundreds of journalists hit the streets demanding action against those involved in beating up members of their fraternity in the court complex in police presence and sought Supreme Court’s intervention for protecting freedom of speech.
By Shishir Tripathy
Once upon a time, that hooded sweatshirt with ‘JNU’ painted in bold letters on it was an object of envy for non-JNUites. It was worn by students of the university with pride and some intellectual swagger. In the last one week things have changed though. Now wearing it can lead you to being branded ‘anti-national’ and probably land you in trouble.
Santosh Singh, a former JNU student who now teaches political science in Delhi University, says, “Two days ago two students from JNU were manhandled at Munirka market. They were wearing the JNU sweatshirt and some people present there started calling them anti-national. When they protested they were roughed up. Realising that they had no defence they left quietly”. Singh adds, “This all is happening because the way JNU is being branded now.”
The very first day when the video of the ‘anti-national slogans being raised appeared, some students of JNU registered their concern over their university being branded as a breeding ground of anti-national elements and their apprehension is proving right.
The three-kilometre auto-rickshaw ride from Ber Sarai to IIMC gate of JNU by this reporter on Monday night revealed how badly the reputation of the premier university had been tarnished by the 9 February incident and the way it had been analysed. All through the 15-minute journey, the auto-rickshaw driver kept abusing JNU students whom he held responsible for betraying the country.
Umesh Kumar, a JNU student, who recently submitted his PhD thesis and lives in Mahanadi near JNU, is ‘aghast’ the way his alma mater is being branded. He also faced the brunt of this. “I live in Mahanandi and I was about to shift to Munirka. Yesterday when I went to give the rent and security money to the landlord he denied to rent me his flat,”
“He minced no words. He simply said I cannot allow people like you to live in my house because I don’t want to get into any trouble,” says Kumar.
Following the infamous Batla House encounter, which took place in 2008, many politicians unleashed an attack on Jamia Millia Islamia because the Muslim terror suspects were reportedly students of the university and the shootout had occurred in its neighbourhood, Jamia Nagar. The institution was tagged as ‘nursery of terror’ in no time.
Speaking at the convocation of the university, President Pranab Mukherjee in November 2014 had said: “Since its inception, Jamia has fostered understanding of India’s rich history and culture, including the cultural traditions of Islam. Through its academic programmes it has instilled in students a national perspective. Jamia has a wide academic profile. It caters to learning in a variety of disciplines at various levels from under-graduate to PhD. It is heartening to know that there are over thirty centres dedicated to research in areas like peace and conflict resolution, women’s studies, media and governance, North-East studies, Dalit and minority studies, and comparative religions and civilization.”
The institution which “fostered understanding of India’s rich history and culture” became ‘nursery of terror’ owing to one incident.
As Bajrang Dal and other ultra right wing activists joins the protests against ‘JNU’s anti-national activities’ the probability of a swift branding of JNU as the ‘nursery of terror’ looms.
That was 2008, let us not do the same in 2016.
Opposition parties, including DMK, on Saturday criticised the Kerala government’s announcement of allocating Rs 100 crore in the state budget for a new dam on Mullaperiyar.While DMK president M Karunanidhi sought “fitting response” from Tamil Nadu government, MDMK founder Vaiko said it was against Supreme Court ruling on the safety of the dam in the inter-state dispute involving Tamil Nadu.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PMK sought Central intervention on the matter.”I believe that the rulers in Tamil Nadu (AIADMK) will give a befitting reply in the state budget on February 16,” Karunanidhi said responding to a set of questions in party organ ‘Murasoli.’Vaiko recalled that the Supreme Court had in May 2014 ruled that the Mullaperiyar dam was safe and allowed increasing the storage level to 142 ft.In a statement, he alleged Kerala planned to demolish the existing structure.”Yesterday’s announcement by the Kerala government allocating Rs 100 crore for a new dam is against the Supreme Court verdict. It is condemnable,” he said.PMK said in 2011 when Kerala had raised the issue of a new dam, it had created tension and resulted in law and order problems in Madurai and Theni districts and wondered if Kerala government was planning to create a similar situation now.”If this plan of Kerala government materialises, it will create a rift between the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and will affect national integrity,” PMK founder S Ramadoss said.Centre should intervene in the matter and ask Kerala to refrain from making such “controversial” statements, and Tamil Nadu government should also remain “vigilant” on the issue, he said.The Kerala budget had on Friday allocated Rs 100 crore for a new dam at Mullaperiyar.Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month and made a strong pitch for a new dam at Mullaperiyar to replace the over 112-year-old “structurally weak” reservoir.The dam, which is at the centre of dispute between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, is located in Kerala on the Periyar river but is operated and managed by Tamil Nadu.
PDP, which is keeping everyone guessing over the government formation, on Friday toughened its position, saying the ally BJP should hand out concrete assurances for implementation of the coalition’s common agenda since it is in power at the Centre.PDP particularly flagged issues like relations with Pakistan, revocation of the controversial AFSPA and return of power projects to Jammu and Kashmir from the Centre which are part of the ‘Agenda of Alliance’.”For us, the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ is the sacred document that we should be going by. But there have to be some assurances on it,” a senior PDP leader said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It does not serve any purpose if we cannot implement this document that was reached between two parties — one headed by the Prime Minister who has a massive mandate at national level and the other by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as leader of the single largest party of the state,” the PDP leader added. Referring to the relations with Pakistan which is a part of the Agenda of Alliance, he said while efforts are underway to improve the ties, it is not clear how this goal can be achieved without involving Jammu and Kashmir in the process. “The dialogue with Pakistan is part of the Agenda of Alliance in whatever words it might be,” he said.”Then there are other issues like revocation of AFSPA and return of power projects in the agenda. This all is for the benefit of the people of the state,” the PDP leader said. With the BJP maintaining a studied silence on the issue, the hardening of stance by PDP indicates that the state could be heading for a longer period of Governor’s Rule which was imposed on January 8 following the demise of then Chief Minister MuftiMohammad Sayeed. Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra has started assuming full powers of governance. Yesterday, he decided to set the ball rolling for holding elections to local bodies by discussing the matter with political parties.